Un-skippable Bits On DVDs.
Apparently this is an example of User Operation Prohibitions, or UOPs. I'm forced to sit through studio branding, copyright warnings, government ads telling me that "piracy is stealing", and even the frickin' animations that introduce the menu.
What is the point of this? The movie studio must have some good reasons for preventing viewers from skipping those parts. Here's some reasons I can think of:
- by forcing me to watch the studio branding bit, where the camera zooms around inside some indistinguishable object, and eventually pulls back, revealing the object to be a big horse or a tree or something.. the studio is marketing itself to me.
- by forcing me to watch a stupid ad where some Young Person is downloading a movie off the web, and cutting in scenes of people stealing cars and handbags and whatnot, and eventually showing the Young Person cancelling the download whilst telling me that "piracy is stealing", I'm less likely to watch pirated movies.
I'm pretty sure that the people who are downloading movies already know that it's illegal. It doesn't help that the ad is trying to draw a parallel between copying movies and stealing cars, because apart from both being illegal, they're quite obviously different things. Copyright infringement is bad, but it's arguable whether it's "stealing" at all; most definitions of theft involve depriving the rightful owner of possession of the item.
There is one thing the ad does pretty well; if it hadn't occurred to someone that they could download movies from the web, they sure know it now. So at least it's educational.
- by forcing me to look at the copyright/FBI warning for 60 seconds, I might pay more attention to the information presented there.
The only reason it is there is so if the studio want to charge someone with copyright infringement (or whatever it's called in the US now since the DMCA.. it's probably been renamed "treason against America" or something), the defendant can't claim that they never knew it was against the law. Okay, that's a good reason to have it there, but why stop me from skipping it?
- The little intro animation as the menu scrolls into view are, um, cute.
Stuart Little is even worse; even when the menu is completely showing and appears ready to use, you still have to wait for Stuart to finish saying something like "Hi there. Hope you enjoy the movie" before you can hit the Play Movie button.
While "researching" this article, I discovered that (according to Wikipedia) grey market DVD players often ignore UOPs, and let you skip whatever you like. So I'm off shopping today for a grey market DVD player. See what you've done, movie studio DVD divisons? You've forced me go and buy a player that ignores region coding and all that other stuff, just to be able to skip the pre-movie crap.
Not being able to skip pre-movie stuff sucks.